IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - BMC2

“War rooms are typically held when critical business
applications aren’t performing or available,” says April Hickel,
senior middleware and transaction management product manager
for BMC Software. “The various IT professionals and other experts
have to come together to determine the problem and pinpoint
whose problem it actually is. So, there’s a lot of finger-pointing,
with people saying, ‘It’s not me, so it must be you.’ Until the
problem is resolved, the war room is the vehicle for communicating
the status, what’s going on, who is working on what and how
soon it will be resolved.”
While the war room will continue to be necessary, it can be
costly, both in terms of lost revenue as well as IT resources
being pulled away from other projects to address the immediate
problem. However, while the need to quickly identify the root
cause of a problem is an ongoing requirement, you can reduce
the chances for convening a war room.
7AR2OOM#OSTS
The war room troubleshooting and problem resolution approach
is more than a mere operational inconvenience; it can have an
impact on almost every aspect of how you conduct business.
Every second you are experiencing a performance decrease or
complete outage means potential revenue loss and diminished
productivity.
“When a war room is necessary, almost everything else seems
to stop,” says Hickel. “Normal operations aren’t possible until the
problem is isolated and resolved, so you can understand why a
war room can have such a huge impact on a company and why
you should be prepared when a war room is necessary.”
As a corollary to the loss of revenue, customer satisfaction
can also be negatively affected during a war room scenario.
Customers are accustomed to things working quickly and
seamlessly online, and they become unhappy when they
encounter a system or service running slowly, unreliably or not
at all. Things get worse if the downtime results in a violation of
existing service contracts and agreements, which can quickly
lead to legal headaches.
The longer customer satisfaction is negatively impacted, the
greater chance the story of the downtime will be picked up by
word of mouth, the wider world of the Internet or, in the worst
case scenario, become a subject for national news. If and when
word gets out that a business is experiencing downtime and can’t
optimally serve its customers, there’s a chance the corporate
image, something not easily repaired, could suffer.
While all these potential war room impacts are playing out,
a company’s day-to-day operations and projects are often
left at a standstill. Pulling the data center professionals into
troubleshooting mode means those personnel aren’t working
on their regular tasks. Important projects designed to push
the IT vision forward are often delayed and deadlines can
be missed.
)40ERFORMANCE)MPACTS
#OMMON#AUSES
Despite the cost, the war room will continue to remain necessary for
any company with a vested interest in keeping its IT operations up
and running at high performance levels. The intricate complexity
of most IT infrastructures practically ensures some level of
downtime that should be both expected and prepared for.
“I think the leading cause of performance impacts and outages
stems from the fact the applications customers are deploying
have become so much more complex,” says Hickel. “Just 10
years ago, if you were a user trying to take an action online,
chances were you were working from a single system. Now, if
you do a common task, like ordering something from a retailer
or conducting a bank transaction online, you’re almost certainly
dealing with many systems that application spans.”
According to Hickel, application integration and the
integration of system components—as well as the infrastructure
dependencies—are the primary contributing factors to
downtime.
“Applications are de-coupled, certainly with the advent of
service oriented architecture (SOA) paradigms and similar
messaging-based infrastructures,” explains Hickel. “You’re
inherently creating composite applications that are built with
many different pieces. I think everybody appreciates the
benefits associated with the composite application approach
to building a data center. But the problem is that when something
starts to go wrong—something as common as a performance
slowdown—it can be really hard to diagnose where the problem
is. You’re not just going to the mainframe and back or to a
single system and back, but you’re going through potentially
many infrastructure technologies and different server tiers to
execute a business operation. I’ve seen companies with over
2 A best practices whitepaper as published in IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe edition, November/December 2010

IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010

IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010
Contents
On the Web
Editor's Desk: Tradition Takes Planning
Dashboard: Walk While You Work
Data Display: All About Spam
Think Smarter: IBM Offers Smarter Systems for Performance and Scalability
Trends: Rosamilia Oversees Both System z and Power Systems Lines as New GM
Break Through Economics: Dr. Howard Rubin Discusses Mainframe Efficiencies and the zEnterprise System
Streamlining Development: IBM Rational on zEnterprise System Utilizes Multiplatform Development Capabilities
Administrator: The zEnterprise System Changes Firewall Requirements
Technical Corner: z/OS Predictive Failure Analysis Make It Easy to Spot and Fix Soft System Failures
Developer: Native XML Support Strengthens DB2 and COBOL Development
Solutions
Advertisers' Index
Stop Run: Former IBMer Jim Bell Finds Inspiration in Music
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - Cover2
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - 1
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - Contents
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - 3
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - 4
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - 5
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - On the Web
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - 7
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - 8
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - 9
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - Editor's Desk: Tradition Takes Planning
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - 11
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - Dashboard: Walk While You Work
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - 13
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - Data Display: All About Spam
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - 15
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - Think Smarter: IBM Offers Smarter Systems for Performance and Scalability
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - BMC1
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - BMC2
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - BMC3
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - BMC4
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - 17
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - 18
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - Trends: Rosamilia Oversees Both System z and Power Systems Lines as New GM
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - 20
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - 21
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - 22
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - zE1
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - zE2
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - 23
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - 24
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - 25
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - Break Through Economics: Dr. Howard Rubin Discusses Mainframe Efficiencies and the zEnterprise System
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - 27
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - 28
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - 29
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - 30
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - 31
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - Streamlining Development: IBM Rational on zEnterprise System Utilizes Multiplatform Development Capabilities
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - 33
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - 34
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - 35
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - 36
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - Administrator: The zEnterprise System Changes Firewall Requirements
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - 38
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - 39
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - Technical Corner: z/OS Predictive Failure Analysis Make It Easy to Spot and Fix Soft System Failures
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - 41
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - 42
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - 43
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - Developer: Native XML Support Strengthens DB2 and COBOL Development
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - 45
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - Solutions
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - Advertisers' Index
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - Stop Run: Former IBMer Jim Bell Finds Inspiration in Music
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - Cover3
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - Cover4
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - November/December 2010 - RF1
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